Euro Finance Chief Sees Need for Fiscal Aid Even as Crisis Fades

Euro-area governments should be ready to keep up emergency support for their economies even after the worst of the coronavirus crisis is behind them, according to the official who leads meetings of the region’s finance ministers, Bloomberg News reported. Speaking before chairing a virtual gathering of his counterparts on Monday, Paschal Donohoe warned that the currency zone will require ongoing aid as it recovers lost ground to reach its pre-pandemic growth levels. “There will be a need for the euro area and for finance ministers to continue to support our economies beyond the acute emergency of large parts of last year and parts of this year,” the so-called Eurogroup president said in an interview. “The risk and consequences of cutting support too early are currently bigger than the risks of pulling support too late.” Donohoe, who is also Ireland’s finance minister, spoke before a discussion with colleagues that is expected to result in a pledge to keep fiscal policy in the region supportive through next year, and to only gradually ease support for businesses and workers. Such a commitment would help cement more aid that already totaled about 8% of euro zone output in 2020, along with a new stimulus fund and liquidity schemes worth around a fifth of gross domestic product. To allow that support, the European Commission this month signaled it will extend its suspension of rules limiting debt through next year. Read more.